By Michael P Coleman
Positioned squarely between the classic Jaws and the comical Sharknado franchise, The Meg, blessedly, more closely resembles the former. Maybe that’s because it’s tossed in a little Jurassic Park, just for good measure.
This is a good ol’ fashioned popcorn thriller that makes for a great end-of-summer outing. Action star Jason Statham leads the cast, and I don’t know about you, but I always feel just a bit safer when he’s around.
It’s a feeling that’s needed with The Meg. Enhanced by a John Williams-influenced score by Harry Gregson-Williams, we get a glimpse of what we’re in for within the film’s first few minutes. This is about all you need to know: a prehistoric shark that’s four times bigger than any fish Peter Benchley ever dreamed up is swimming around. And she’s hungry. And there’s a crowded beach scene. And Jason Statham is there to help. And I always feel just a bit safer when Jason’s around. But…
holy Jesus that’s a big shark. And she’s got a lot of teeth.
As I waited for The Meg to start, I realized I’d not seen a shark movie in the theatre since a 10-year-old Michael Patrick saw Jaws. There’s a reason for that: I was scared shitless. I still think about it today. One of my biggest accomplishments was going swimming off the coast of southern Florida a few years ago. I say a quick prayer before I take a dip in the Sacramento River.
Deep Blue Sea, The Shallows, 47 Meters Down…they were all entertaining movies, but I watched them at home. After Spielberg’s 1975 masterpiece, I couldn’t bring myself to see a shark flick in a darkened theatre. I should have stuck to my guns on that. Going in, I knew The Meg was all CGI and special effects, but…
holy Jesus that’s a big shark.
Once again, just as in 1975: scared shitless.
I’m probably being too gracious to The Meg to even mention it in the same sentence as Jaws, the granddaddy of the modern summer blockbuster. As I said up front, this one has a little bit of Sharknado thrown in too. Some scenes were so close to parody that I wondered whether director Jon Turteltaub had intentionally placed his tongue firmly in his cheek. The Meg’s finale ended that speculation — Turteltaub was in on the joke all along. And he was smart to leave most of the blood and gore out of the movie, ensuring a PG-13 rating and a more family-oriented audience.
And thank God Jason Statham was there. I always feel just a bit safer when Jason’s around. But…
holy Jesus, that’s a big shark!
The Meg has opened wide (I LOVE that tag line!) and is in theaters everywhere.